The unit is comprised of five Accelerant Detection Canine (ADC) teams and one Explosives Detection Canine (EDC) team.
Accelerant Detection Canines
In 1998, the Bureau implemented an Accelerant Detection K-9 program with financial and technical support from State Farm Insurance Company. This mutually beneficial partnership was established in an effort to enhance the investigators’ ability to identify evidence of liquid accelerants utilized by arsonists and has been functioning well since its inception. Currently, the Bureau has five Accelerant Detection K-9 teams located statewide.
The majority of canines in the State Farm Arson Dog Program are Labrador Retrievers obtained from animal shelters, rescue organizations, or certified companion programs. The program uses Labrador Retrievers because Labs have a superior ability to discriminate among scents at a fire scene. Their noses can smell in parts per quintillion. Labs generally have a gentle disposition, a “love to work” attitude, and an outgoing personality. The K9s are trained using a food reward method and the teams are required to recertify annually.
Captain Ross Holt & ADC Icy
Team Commander - Plantation
Detective David Young & ADC Fresca
Detective Jeff Batz & ADC Booker
Detective Jim Stafford & ADC Ginger
Detective Amelia Hitchcock & ADC Penzy
Detective Matt Huffman & ADC Shay-Ley
Explosives Detection Canine
Oregon, an 18-month old German Shepard, joined DFS’ EOD Units through Southern Coast K9 located in New Smyrna Beach. Southern Coast K9 is a recognized canine vendor specializing in training canines for law enforcement patrol work as well as canines specializing in scent discrimination for narcotics and explosives. Oregon and Detective Taylor support local law enforcement agencies across Florida, predominately in rural regions of the state, where explosive detecting resources may not be readily available.
Detective Monty Taylor & EDC Oregon